HMM Day 19 – Dr. Giggles

Right now for day nineteen of the marathon, I am gonna have to ask you all be patient with me because I am feeling terrible. My body aches and my throat feels like it’s on fire. Every once in a while I get the sudden urge to vomit my guts out. So I get up from my bed and head to my bathroom where I kneel to the porcelain throne. A place where asses sit to spill their shit, is now my resting place for the night and as the urges arise so do I as I spill forth a flowing stream of human vomit. Ugh, being sick sucks. But I must endure! My wife comes up behind me and rubs my shoulder in that comforting manner only a wife can give. “Do you need to see a doctor?” she asks. My eyes widen and I hurl myself upward. “No! I don’t need a doctor!” I scream as I push myself out of the bathroom and into the kitchen to gargle water.

“But honey, you’re sick as a dog.” she says. But I shake my head in contempt as water swishes violently in my mouth. I spit and choke on the remaining water. “No, no doctors! I’ll be just fine. Just a simple stomach bug” I say. The wife attempts to speak but I cut her off with a look. The connection between is that of a tight wire on the verge of snapping. But I don’t give… she doesn’t know. She heads back to our room and slams the door, signifying where she will remain the rest of the night and where I am not allowed to enter.

Fine go ahead and be pissed at me. I can take your anger, as long as it keeps me away from… the doctor. I stand in the cold dark kitchen just in front of the sink. Bobbing my head from side to side in an attempt to shake my mind of the post trauma from hurling my insides. The acidic taste remains in the back of my throat, sitting there as a remnant flavor. Every swallow is a toil and insides burn like a forest fire. All is calm and the numbness of my lips resides. The chirping crickets outside my home keep me company and for a brief moment, I feel a sense of calm until another stomach churn, burns and makes me wither. I grab the rim of the kitchen sink and brace myself as I push down another surge of stomach pain. Regardless of the discomforting pain, nothing and I mean nothing will make me see.. the doctor.

All is quiet and my minds spinning slows to a steady whirl, making me feel an out of body experience. I focus my eyes on the sink drain, my resting place, my place where all my inner demons go as I think back to my high school days at Moorehigh High School. Way before I met my wife, way back when the most terrifying thing in a young boy can experience was being sick. Then the memories start to come in and I begin to murmur an old chant we Moorehigh kids used to say. Just a little ditty that I begin to mumble in a light hum that slowly grows to words:

Stay away from his house,
He’s a doctor from hell.
He chopped up his patients,
Every last one
And cut out their hearts
Purely for fun
So if you’re from Moorehigh
And you should get sick
Then fall on your knees
And pray you die quick

I repeat the lyric over and over until my stomach throbbing goes away. It’s amazing what your mind can accomplish. Over your own physical sickness, over your own urge over your ability to repress. The doctor, I will never see him. I pray that I would die quick.

Dr. Giggles is a 1992 horror film directed by Manny Coto and stars Holly Marie Combs and Darkman’s Larry Drake as the infamous Dr. Giggles. The film was release in the month of October and ran the same time as Bernard Rose’ Candyman. Which means in the midst of the slasher genre coming to an end, this movie was a direct competitor of another slasher film. Which means between the two films, Candyman turned out to be the winner. Dr. Giggles was ripped by critics and holds a rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Story

After years living in a psychological prison, Evan Rendell escapes to return back to his home town of Moorehigh. There he pursues his interest in medicine of a sinister nature. With eyes set on a young teen named Jennifer, nothing will get in his way to practice his evil practice. Watch out Moorehigh, Dr. Giggles has come back and it’s about time for your checkup!

Do you remember that horror movie about the crazy guy that escapes from the mental hospital. Sure, you know what I’m talking about. It’s that slasher flick! The one where the killer goes back to his childhood home… the place where someone close to him died when he was a kid. Then the kid does something completely shocking that gets him locked up in a psychological hospital for twenty or thirty years. While in lock down the house and his name became a legend amongst the town folk. Then when the crazy guy escapes from the hospital and returns to his hometown. Then they crazy guy kills a bunch of people and focuses in on that one girl. Maybe its because she reminds him of someone from the past or something. But he pursues people and enters their homes, killing them in brutal ways? In the end all that stands in the killers way is this one girl and she has to take matters into her own hands. Sure you know that movie! It’s none other than 1992’s Dr. Giggles! What do you think I was gonna say?

Time Kills Cliche

Have you ever heard the term “the wrong place at the wrong time?” It’s a common phrase that is used just as much and with the same meaning as “poor timing.” This is when something happens with good intentions, but done so at a time when it doesn’t work. Often times, this phrase can be the determining factor for any horror movie. Dr. Giggles is one of those movies. It’s just unfair that this movie didn’t get enough attention or live on like so many other slasher films. It was just a movie that was released in the wrong place and time. It was 1992 which means the slasher genre had worn out the welcome. Even Freddy Krueger and Jason couldn’t muster up the horror enthusiasm at this point. So to make a slasher movie when people didn’t want to see them anymore and to be released the same month as another competing slasher movie like Candyman! It was destined to fail. I bet you anything, if Dr. Giggles was released in the early 80’s it would have a cult following and known as one of the better slasher films of the era.

At least I would think so because I really love Dr. Giggles! I think over time, movies that have bombed have a way of letting time clear the basic criticisms of the time. I know the movie replicates the Halloween story and that’s just fine. The small alterations alone are enough to make it an enjoyable sloppy slasher flick with some good gore and one memorable killer.

Giggles and Gore

Dr. Giggles is an awesome slasher villain and one that I think deserves more credit because Larry Drake as Giggles is absolutely brilliant. He’s a dominating kind of presence that plays the part of the scary looking doctor very well. You know how every kid is afraid of doctors. They’re imposing and large but also interesting in a humanist kind of way. Drake pulls this off and plays the part so well. What Dr. Giggles gives you opposed to Krueger, Myers and Voorhees is a more pristine mad man. He doesn’t wear a mask or come off as dirty and raunchy. He kills in sterile environments and presents himself as gentle figure.

He’s calm and collective to the point where if you were one of his victims, there’s a moment when your brain can’t determine if he’s going to cut your heart out of prescribe you a pill. Dr. Giggles is a movie that plays on the same stories we all know but it is in the killer himself that makes it such a different kind of slasher film and one that ages pretty well. The gore and the deaths are all awesome. Giggles piles on a body count that would make Freddy Krueger and Jason blush. I love how Giggles uses medical tools and procedures to bump people off. Plus he uses these one liners for each kill that will make you grin. Throw in that awesome Larry Drake dead pan stare with a boyish giggle and you have yourself an excellent slasher film.

Dr. Giggles, a great little slasher flick that missed the mark due to bad timing. I believe a person could rewatch this and find some glimmer of enjoyment in it all. It’s too bad the movie did so poorly because I would have loved seeing the character live on into slasher legend. Even today, Dr. Giggles is more intriguing than most cliche slashers like Jason and Freddy. A killer doctor! When we all love and respect doctors for their fight with Covid! It’s a perfect anti message that contrasts all our ideas and securities! Exactly what good horror is meant to do. So give Dr. Giggles a chance and enjoy the special practices this man does.

Thanks for reading my post!

If you’d like to read past day nineteen posts from other marathons then check these out below.

If you’re new to this marathon and would to catch up with this day then go ahead and see the other movies we’ve covered.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Dante says:

    This…reminds me…so much of… The Dentist.

    There’s something about the human element that adds to the whole scare of it all.

    Another, I will be watching

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nscovell says:

      Yea man, doctors are scary

      Liked by 1 person

  2. rdfranciswriter says:

    A failed attempt at a Krueger-styled franchise, but Larry keeps you engaged, as he always does.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 9siduri says:

    This movie is not for me. Personal preference. But thanks for an entertaining read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nscovell says:

      Yea, it’s not for everyone because it is cheese. But something about it makes me smile.

      Liked by 1 person

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